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DEAD - BUT NOT YET BURIED: EDGAR ALLAN POE by ALAN HEWETSON It wrinen ihat Edgar Allan Poe is America's most is famous man of letters, and surely this is quite true. The argument is in the qualification; should this be?, and in this article and biography, we hope to prove the answer is yes. Edgar Poe, himself a man of 'mystery and imagination', has effected the most profound influence of any American on contemporary literature, through his literary criticisms, poetry, short stories, and by his magazine publishing theories.

MmhN0t

editorship of

Poe's

GRAHAM'S MAGAZINE

in

1841-42

40,000 in a few months, and hence made that magazine the most popular in the United States during that period, and the first magazine in America or Europe to be a 'Mass Circulation Periodical', raised an 3,000 circulation to

His

editorship

of

GRAHAM'S LADY'S AND GENTLESOUTHERN LITERARY. at establishing his own

MAN'S MAGAZINE and THE MESSENGER, and his attempts

EJipr Allan

fof

magazines THE STYLUS and THE PENN MAGAZINE, are required studies for any serious student of magazine publishing

today.

in his own time, for his poetry and but we tn 1973 revere Poe for quite works ... his horror stories, which though numbering only twenty-seven in total, have associated

Poe was famous literary criticism,

different

name with horror to the extent that it is legitimately he 'invented' horror. He certainly did, and in the

Poe's felt

process

certain

other

types

of story

now

popular.

By

THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET, and THE GOLD BUG he unquestionably defined the modern detective story. Before these works, such method and form were unknown. By THE

NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON! PYM OF NANTUCKET

FOUND IN A BOTTLE, and several others, he defined the modern adventure story. Before his work and THE MS.

on these stories this type of characterization and plot development was unknown. By his tales THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, A DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER and THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, to name only a few, he invented and perfected not only the modern horror story, but quite fantastically also 'horror'

itself.

Edgar Allan Poe lived a wretched and unhappy life, in his everyday life — in his domestic and business affairs - he was a dismal failure. He could not 'get along' whatsoever with his fellow man. His much exploited relations with women, particularly during the latter part of his life, were nothing more than a hapless craving for human companionship and respect. In fact he was probably impotent, but certainly towards the close of his life, during these mad affairs, he was depressed and erratic, his body was in great physical pain, and he was bordering on manic depression. At various times during his life he used certain opiates, and throughout was a victim of alcohol.

Much

has been made of Edgar Allan Poe's drinking The truth is not that he drank excessively, but little was too much', for he was unable to take even a little alcohol without a complete change of personality, and any excess was accompanied by physical prostration. This illness has wrongly been called habits.

thai 'even a

"Lord help

my

poor

intemperaleness victim to drink,

which is unfair, for he was more and was never known to enjoy it.

a

Scream 06 1974,scream 04 1974,scream 08 1974,scream 11 1975,psycho 16 1974,psycho 17  
Scream 06 1974,scream 04 1974,scream 08 1974,scream 11 1975,psycho 16 1974,psycho 17  
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